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She was an only child, and received a rather inordinate amount of encouragement. Sklarek excelled in school, especially in the sciences, and attended primarily white high schools in the New York public school system during the s and s. As she contemplated college and her future direction, she realized that the professional career options open to women were rather limited. Sklarek knew that she was not very interested in becoming a teacher or a nurse.

As a freshman at Columbia, she encountered some typical first-year difficulties.


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Education: Columbia University , B, Arch. Member: American Institute of Architects served as vice president of California chapter. I spent the summer deliberating whether or not to return to Columbia in the fall. I decided to stay …. I wanted to go to Howard University in Washington, D.

Sklarek persevered, and was accepted to the Columbia University School of Architecture. This was no small achievement, since only a certain number of female applicants were admitted into the program.

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

She was, however, the youngest person in her class. After earning her degree in , Skalrek applied for a job with 20 architectural firms, and was rejected each time. Since I was turned down so many times in private industry, I went to work for the city of New York in a civil service job. This experience motivated her to take the licensing examination for architects in New York state, a rigorous four-day test which few passed on the first try. Sklarek did pass on the first try and, in , became one of a handful of African Americans in the profession. She was also the first African American woman to be licensed as an architect in the United States.

Sklarek quit her city job when she was hired at a private architectural firm.


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  7. Initially, she was not given interesting assignments. For instance, she was responsible for designing all of the bathrooms in an office building. By this time, she had married and become the mother of two sons. Because it was the s, an era preceding the enactment of equal employment opportunity laws, Sklarek faced many obstacles.

    No Mountain High Enough: Secrets of Highly Successful African American Women

    On one occasion, she ran into some former colleagues from the municipal building department, who found it difficult to hide their astonishment when Sklarek told them about her new job. They told Sklarek that her former boss had written a harsh, unfavorable critique of her job performance. Sklarek remembered that her present employers had asked, during her job interview, whether she had had any problems with her former boss, and she replied truthfully that she had not.

    It had to be personal. Language: English.

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    Secrets of Successful African American Women

    Synopsis About this title Profiles thirtytwo successful black women, from judges to rocket scientists to corporate executive officers, revealing the combination of hard work, determination, and the support of family that drove them forward against the odds. Synopsis : This text profiles 32 successful Black American women. Buy New View Book. About AbeBooks.